|Canto 11: General History||Chapter 5: Nārada Concludes His Teachings to Vasudeva|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.5.4
dūre hari-kathāḥ kecid
striyaḥ śūdrādayaś caiva
te 'nukampyā bhavādṛśām
dūre — far away; han-kathāḥ — from discussion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari; kecit — many persons; dūre — far away; ca — and; acyuta — infallible; kīrtanāḥ — glories; striyaḥ — women; śūdra-ādayaḥ — śūdras and other fallen classes; ca — and; eva — indeed; te — they; anukampyāḥ — deserve the mercy; bhavādṛśām — of personalities like yourself.
There are many persons who have little opportunity to take part in discussions about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, and thus it is difficult for them to chant His infallible glories. Persons such as women, śūdras and other fallen classes always deserve the mercy of great personalities like yourself.
In the previous verse it was explained that some persons are ignorant of the glories of the Personality of Godhead (na bhajanti), whereas others, although aware of the Lord, ridicule Him or state that the Lord is also material (avajānanti). In this verse the first class, namely the ignorant, are described as fit candidates for the mercy of a pure devotee. The word dūre indicates those who have little opportunity to hear and chant the glories of the Lord. According to Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura they can be explained as ye sādhu-sańga-bhāgya-hīnāḥ, those who are bereft of the association of saintly persons and pure devotees. Generally, those who are advanced in the spiritual science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness avoid contact with women and low-class men. In general, women are lusty, and śūdras and other low-class men are habitually addicted to materialistic habits such as smoking, drinking and woman hunting. Therefore, Caitanya Mahāprabhu warned the sādhus, or saintly persons, to avoid intimate connection with women and low-class men. The practical result of such a restriction is that women and lower-class men are often bereft of the opportunity to hear the glories of the Lord chanted by saintly persons; thus Śrī Camasa Muni instructs the King that he should especially give his mercy to such fallen persons.
Our spiritual master, His Divine Grace Śrīla Prabhupāda, was severely criticized in India for giving all classes of men and women the opportunity to take part in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Indeed, the caste brāhmaṇas of India and other persons concerned only with ritualistic formalities were shocked that Śrīla Prabhupāda allowed women and persons born in low-class families to take part freely in the Vaiṣṇava culture and even become initiated as bona fide brāhmaṇas. However, Śrīla Prabhupāda could understand that in this age practically everyone is fallen. He saw that if spiritual life were to be limited to the so-called higher classes, there would be no possibility of spreading a genuine spiritual movement all around the world. The mercy of Caitanya Mahāprabhu is so great and the holy name of Kṛṣṇa so potent that any man, woman, child or even animal can become purified by chanting Kṛṣṇa's name and taking prasādam, the sanctified remnants of Kṛṣṇa's food. In Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement, no sincere person is restricted from achieving the highest perfection of self-realization. Whereas the impersonalists and yogīs tend to be selfishly concerned with their individual realization and achievement of mystic power, it has always been the custom of the Vaiṣṇavas to be merciful to all classes of living entities.
It is understood that the conversation between the nava-yogendras and King Nimi took place approximately at the time of Lord Rāmacandra, many hundreds of thousands of years ago. But in the Bhagavad-gītā, which was spoken only five thousand years ago, Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself also states that any person, despite his material situation of life, can become the most dear devotee of the Lord by full surrender to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the fallen people of Kali-yuga should take advantage of the special mercy of the Vaiṣṇavas and join the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement to perfect their lives and go back home, back to Godhead.
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
His Holiness Hrdayananda dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari
Dravida dasa Brahmacari